It was the wildest film festival I have ever attended: the Lisbon-Estoril Film Festival, now in its eighth year. First, the range of the program was staggering. It included not only retrospective tributes to the Russian filmmaker Marlen Khutsiev and Spanish filmmaker Gonzalo Garcia Pelayo, and, of course, the contemporary auteur films in Competition, but also the lithographs of David Lynch and Jean Michel Alberola, a debate on mathematics and film, the photographs of Nan Goldin, a homage to John Malkovich, a play by Peter Handke, and three symposia on "surveillance", including the webcam presence of Julian Assange.
But most of all, this festival surprised me with its allegria: the spontaneous intimacy between all the international guests and Portuguese locals,and the constant feasts with vinho verde and impassioned conversations on art. When I first arrived, I was whizzed to a dinner of sopa de castanha and se...
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